September 20, 2004
(Executive Council)


Premier Williams outlines preparations to explore development opportunities for the Lower Churchill

As government prepares to move forward with exploring development opportunities for the Lower Churchill, Premier Danny Williams today announced the appointment of Dean MacDonald as Chair of the Board of Directors of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro.

"We made a commitment in our Blueprint to retain Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro as a Crown corporation and to strengthen its participation in the economic development of this province," said Premier Williams. "Although it will remain a Crown corporation, over the next year, we will be restructuring Hydro with a new mandate to support the development of the province�s energy sector. Some of the key priorities of a new and improved Hydro will include the development of the Lower Churchill, exploration of partnerships with the private sector concerning natural gas, wind energy, geothermal heat pump technology, and the possible acquisition of ownership interests in our offshore oil and gas resources. I am extremely pleased Mr. MacDonald has agreed to serve in this vital leadership role, as we move forward to develop the economy of the province."

Premier Williams stated his government�s priority for the immediate future is to advance the development of the Lower Churchill and he has full confidence in Mr. MacDonald�s ability to assist government in reaching its objectives on this major development.

Mr. MacDonald served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro from 1996 to 2002 when he resigned his position in opposition to the development proposal advanced by the former government. Mr. MacDonald is uniquely qualified to advise government on how to reach a better Lower Churchill agreement than the 2002 proposal. His previous experience on the board of Hydro, as well as in executive positions with other major corporations, means that Mr. MacDonald will also provide a high standard of leadership and oversight on behalf of government over the affairs of Hydro.

"We are in a much stronger position to negotiate an agreement on the development of the Lower Churchill than at any time in our history," said Premier Williams. "The Lower Churchill is a significant source of renewable, low-cost, clean electricity and the marketplace is ripe for such a development. As outlined in our Blueprint, our commitment is to ensure this resource is developed in a way that brings real and long-term benefits for the people of this province and makes a strong contribution to the economy of Newfoundland and Labrador."

Premier Williams further announced the appointment of Kenneth Marshall and Craig Tucker to the Board of Directors at Hydro. The premier thanked outgoing board members, Paul Dicks and Danny Dumaresque, for their service on the board.

Premier Williams also stated government will initiate a search for a new president and chief executive officer for Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro as a result of the retirement of Bill Wells.

"Following the election last year, Mr. Wells agreed to stay on for a year beyond his contract to provide for the continuance of leadership at Hydro during this government�s transition period," said Premier Williams. "On behalf of the people of this province, I thank Mr. Wells for his commitment and dedication to Hydro during his eight years of service and I wish him well in his retirement."

Media contact: Elizabeth Matthews, Office of the Premier, (709) 729-3960 or (709) 690-5500

Download 1. Memorandum of Understanding (PDF)

Download 2. Mutual Confidentiality Agreement (PDF)

Download  3. Framework Agreement for the Development of Gull Island (PDF)


Dean MacDonald
Mr. MacDonald is currently president and chief executive officer of Persona Communications Inc., a privately-held company with national outlets in cablevision and Internet services. In the past, Mr. MacDonald has served in the capacity of executive vice-president and chief operating officer of Rogers Cable Inc. and president of Cable Atlantic Inc. where he was a director and minority shareholder for 18 years. He is chairman of the board of the Canadian Television Association and also currently sits on the board of the Cable Public Affairs Channel. Mr. MacDonald is past chair of Canadian Cable in the Classroom, past chair of Canadian Standards Foundation and past president of CTAM of Canada. He is a director of Airborne Entertainment and a past director of Oceanex (1997) Inc. Through his work with the cable industry, Mr. MacDonald has received the Frederick T. Metcalf award for Innovation in Marketing, the cable industry�s highest award for marketing excellence. In 1996, he was recognized as Gonzaga�s Alumnus of the Year and selected in 1998 by the Financial Post as one of Canada�s Top 40 Under 40. More recently, Mr. MacDonald was awarded the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Technology Industries 1998 Leadership Award. In the same year, he was awarded Memorial University of Newfoundland�s Faculty of Business 1998 Alumnus of the Year.

Kenneth Marshall
Mr. Marshall is currently vice-president and general manager, Atlantic Region, of Rogers Cable Inc., Canada�s largest cable television company. Prior to that position, he was senior vice-president of finance and business development with Cable Atlantic Inc., overseeing the sale of Cable Atlantic to Rogers Cable. Mr. Marshall has also held positions with the Institute of Canadian Bankers in Montreal and with Memorial University of Newfoundland in the Faculty of Business Administration. Mr. Marshall is an active volunteer sitting on many

boards and committees, including chair and board member for Special Olympics, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Craig R. Tucker
Mr. Tucker is a specialist in the area of corporate communications and market strategy. Mr. Tucker currently holds the position of vice-president of marketing with M5 Marketing Communications and its group of companies. A senior executive, he has gained significant experience from his past roles as president of KeyCorp Inc. and MC2 Communications Inc., as well as his tenure with Olivetti Systems and Network Canada where he received three consecutive Presidents� Awards. Mr. Tucker is a very active volunteer with a number of not-for-profit organizations. He is currently on the board of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, Chairman of the Board with Capital Access Inc. and past board member of the St. John�s Board of Trade and the Rotary Club of St. John�s East.

2004 09 20                   1:00 p.m.

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